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Pitt Outlasts Jackets, 76-68

Pittsburgh, Pa.Miles Kelly knocked down six three-point field goals and led all scorers with 24 points, and Georgia Tech doggedly remained close throughout the game but suffered another close road loss, 76-68 to Pittsburgh Tuesday night at the Petersen Events Center.

Despite foul trouble that limited guard Lance Terry to 15 minutes (0 points) and a short rotation due to injury, Tech (11-17, 3-14 ACC) kept the Panthers (20-8, 13-4) within striking distance until the final minute of play by shooting 54.5 percent in the second half. Pitt never led by more than nine points.

Kelly’s two free throws gave the Yellow Jackets their last lead at 52-51 with 9:31 remaining, but a dunk from Federiko Federiko and a fast break layup by Nike Sibande put Pitt back on top for good. Tech got as close as three, 65-62 on Kyle Sturdivant’s three-point field goal with 3:04 to go, but Nelly Cummings helped the Panthers pull away by going 6-for-6 at the free throw line, and Blake Hinson hit a critical three-pointer that gave his team a 70-62 advantage with 1:42 to go.

Kelly, who hit 8-of-17 from the floor and added five rebounds, led four Tech scorers in double digits. Sturdivant finished the game with 16 points and five assists, Ja’von Franklin scored 15 points with eight rebounds, and Jalon Moore added 10.

Cummings led four Pitt double-figure scorers with 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Hinson scored 19, Federiko 14 and Jamarius Burton 12.

Tech returns to action Saturday for its final home game of the regular season, a 2 p.m. contest against Louisville at McCamish Pavilion. The game will be televised live on the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks (Bally Sports South in Georgia).

 

Ja’von Franklin scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. (photo by Brandon Chmura)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM TRENDS

  • Georgia Tech has utilized the same starting lineup for six straight games, the first time this season that head coach Josh Pastner has sent out the same starting five for the opening tip.
  • With Deivon Smith missing his third straight game with an ankle injury, Tech used only six players for significant minutes at Pitt (Freds Pauls Bagatskis played seven seconds late in the game). It was the first time this season the Jackets have used fewer than eight players, and the two reserves that played totaled 30:18.
  • Still, Tech’s bench outscored Pitt’s 10-2. Pitt’s three reserves played a total of 35 minutes.
  • Deebo Coleman and Ja’von Franklin each played the full 40 minutes at Pitt, giving Tech six 40-minute games this season. Lance Terry has done so three times, Coleman twice and Franklin once.
  • Four or more Yellow Jackets have reached double digits in the scoring column in 14 games this season, and Tech has won 10 of those games.
  • Tech had scored 70 points or more in four straight games (Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Florida Tech) before coming up short (68) against Pittsburgh. The Yellow Jackets are 9-2 this season when scoring 70 or more points (3-2 in the ACC), 2-15 when failing to reach 70.
  • Tech has outshot five of its last six opponents from the floor, holding them collectively to 41.5 percent overall, 29.2 percent from three-point range. The Yellow Jackets are 10-2 this season when they have a higher field goal percentage.
  • Since Lance Terry returned from his hamstring injury (last five games), Tech has averaged 71.3 points per game, connected on 44.9 percent of its shots from the floor and 38.0 percent of its three-point attempts. In the four games he missed, Tech averaged 53.8 points, hit 34.5 percent of its field goals and 25.2 percent of its threes.
  • Four Tech players (Ja’von Franklin0, Miles Kelly 13.5, Lance Terry 11.7 ppg, Deebo Coleman 10.7) are averaging double digits in points over the Yellow Jackets’ last six games, and a fifth (Kyle Sturdivant) is averaging 9.5.
  • Tech’s 47.3-percent clip from the floor against Pittsburgh was its highest percentage on field goals against an ACC team this season. The Jackets have shot better than that in only five games – Clayton State, North Alabama, Georgia, Alabama State and Florida Tech.
  • Tech’s six ACC games in the month of February have been decided by an average of six points.
  • Tech matched its program record for fewest turnovers (4, none in the first half) against Pitt, equaling the lowest number set previously against LSU (3/17/1990) and Wake Forest (2/13/1988). The Jackets had turned the ball over as few as five times in three other games this season.

PLAYER UPDATES

  • Miles Kelly set career highs for points (24) and three-point field goals (6-for-13) against Pitt.
  • Kelly has reached double figures in three straight games, averaging 17 points and hitting 18-of-39 from the floor (46.2 pct.) and 11-of-26 from three-point range (42.3 pct.). This comes after a stretch in which he scored in double digits jus three times in nine games and averaged 9.8 points.
  • Ja’von Franklin has averaged a double-double over the Yellow Jackets’ last five games (14.0 points and 10.7 rebounds). He has hit 61 percent of his shots from the floor (36-of-59) in that span, and also has totaled a team-high 21 assists, 15 blocked shots and eight steals.
  • Franklin has three double-doubles in that span and has come short in the other three games by two rebounds twice and one rebound once.
  • After averaging 14 points over five games since returning from a hamstring injury, Lance Terry went scoreless (0-4 FG) and fouled out in 15 minutes at Pitt. In the five games before Pitt, Terry averaged 14.0 points, hit 49.1 percent of his shots from the floor (26-of-53 pct.) and 42.9 percent from three-point range (9-of-21).
  • Terry has reached double figures in points four times in six games since his return from injury, including highs of 19 points each vs. Notre Dame and Florida Tech.
  • Jalon Moore has reached double figures in back-to-back games (15 vs. Florida Tech, 10 vs. Pitt) for the first time since NC State (1/17) and Syracuse (1/21). He averaged 4.1 points over the seven games in between.
  • Kyle Sturdivant has averaged 11.6 points over his last seven games, having reached double figures in five of them (17 at Louisville, 13 at NC State, 12 vs. Notre Dame, 10 vs. Virginia Tech, 16 at Pitt). He has made 15-of-35 from three-point range (42.9 pct.) over that stretch.
  • Sturdivant had five assists and no turnovers in 37:46 vs. Pitt.
  • Deivon Smith has missed Tech’s last three games with a sprained right ankle.

Kyle Sturdivant scored 16 points with five assists and no turnovers. (photo by Brandon Chmura)

 

Game Highlights

 

Post-Game Press Conference

Head coach Josh Pastner post-game audio

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